How to Hold a Voting Simulation in Your Classroom

Proven Practices of Civic Education:

The future voters and decision-makers are in our classrooms. Civic education is an important aspect of social studies that is often over-looked. But there are meaningful ways that we can bring civic education into our elementary classrooms. A mock election is one tangible way we can do this.

Studies show that “a majority of America’s schools either neglect civic learning, or teach it in a minimal or superficial way…On a recent national assessment in civics, two-thirds of all American students scored below proficient.” (Guardian of Democracy: Successor Report to the Civic Mission of Schools).

One proven practice that makes up a strong, high-quality civics learning experience is through simulations of democratic processes and procedures. (Guardian of Democracy: Successor Report to the Civic Mission of Schools). By holding a voting simulation in our classroom, our students learn about the campaign process, political parties, the voter registration process, and experience the voting process in a tangible way.

Mock Election in Elementary

In my first grade classroom, I held a mock election every year. While it can be exciting to conduct a voting simulation during election season, this aspect of civic learning is something that can be taught any time of year, however I believe that holding this simulation during a major political event will make a bigger impact.

Who are the Candidates?

I do not have my young students vote for political candidates. Instead, I have my students vote on something that